United States President-elect Donald Trump aims to ease Asian allies' qualms as he is expected to use his first meeting with Japan's Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe this week to try to reassure Asian allies rattled by his campaign rhetoric.
An adviser to Trump said the president-elect would reaffirm his commitment to the U.S-Japan alliance, despite campaign rhetoric that raised questions about the future of what has been the bedrock of Japanese defence since World War Two.
Abe wants to build a relationship of trust while taking the measure of the real-estate magnate, whom few in Japan thought would become president.
Trump's campaign comments on the possibility of Japan acquiring nuclear arms and demands allies pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces on their soil have fanned worries. His election has also dashed hopes for U.S. approval of a 12-nation trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a linchpin of Washington's "pivot" to Asia and a pillar of Abe's economic reforms.
A Trump adviser said he expected the meeting to "set the tone" for Trump's relations with Japan and the region. Some diplomats say, however, that until Trump makes key appointments, it will be hard to assess his policies on issues including China's maritime aggressiveness and North Korea's nuclear threat.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co advances with its plans to shift production of small cars to Mexico from Michigan, while "two very important products" will be built in its U.S. factories.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said in an interview that they are moving forward with their plan to move production of Ford Focus to Mexico, and importantly that’s to make room for two very important products that they will be putting back into Michigan plants. He also added that there will be no job impact with their move.
President-elect Donald Trump has criticized Ford for the decision to shift production of Focus small cars to Mexico in 2018. Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said last month he met with Trump. Ford has countered Trump's criticism, saying the company, founded by his great-grandfather, makes more cars and trucks in the United States than any other automaker.
Ford also is moving ahead with plans to use factory capacity in other markets to fill gaps in its U.S. lineup.
On the U.S politics side, House Speaker Paul Ryan is renominated to top House post when Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives nominated him on Tuesday for re-election to his post next year.
Ryan was nominated in a unanimous voice vote in a closed-door meeting of all Republican lawmakers in the House. He will face an election in January, when all members of the new House, both majority Republicans and minority Democrats, vote on a new speaker.
While January's outcome is not guaranteed, Republicans who had been feuding with each other and Trump before the election said Tuesday they thought Ryan was in a solid position to be re-elected speaker now that intra-party tensions have dramatically lessened with the Republican election victory.
"Politics is politics, but this is as unified as I've ever seen it," said New York Republican Representative Peter King, who has been in Congress since 1993.
Republicans kept their majorities in both the House and Senate in the Nov. 8 elections in which voters elected Trump to the White House over Democrat Hillary Clinton.